Investigation and Design of a C-Wing Passenger Aircraft

Author: Karan Bikkannavar



A novel nonplanar wing concept,‘C-Wing‘ design is studied and applied to a commercial aircraft to reduce induced drag which has a significant effect on fuel consumption. In-house preliminary sizing method which employs optimization algorithm is utilized and current Airbus A-320 aircraft is used as a reference to evaluate design parameters and to investigate C-Wing design potential beyond current wing tip designs. An increase in aspect ratio due to extended wing span (airport limit), reduction in mission fuel fraction and 7% mass savings were obtained for aircraft with C-Wing configuration. In the latter section, effect of variations of height to span ratio (h/b) of C-Wing on induced drag factor k, is formulated from a vortex lattice method and literature based equations. These equations primarily estimate Oswald factor e (span efficiency factor) for non planar configurations. The results from these equations were promising and in good proximity to the vortex based method. Finally costing methods used by Association of Auropean Airlines (AEA) is applied to the existing A320 aircraft and C-Wing configuration indicating difference of 6% reduction in Direct Operating Costs (DOC) for the novel concept. From overall outcomes, the C-Wing concept suggests interesting aerodynamic efficiency and stability benefits.